We have a lot of bravado in the dojo, and in our lives. We often want to be seen brave and strong, not weak and faltering. So often we would like to be independent and that is the hallmark of an adult, being able to help oneself.
And with being able to help oneself, comes an ability to help others, at the same time denying help from others when we are in need. This facade of strength is very important for us to be able to survive this ‘dog eat dog’ world.
I listened to a podcast recently by Gil Fronstal, where he talks about ‘compassion’ and how we need to be still, very still, instead of running all over the place, allowing other’s psyche to disrupt us. We get pulled away to do chores, phones will ring, and in Aikido, we have uke to respond to.
What he suggests is that instead of going at it, getting engaged in the doldrums of life, the thick of thin things, just be still, and let things happen. Be still and observe, if it is really helpful to help, or should we just be mindful. Be shy.
Once the mind is settled and all the tasks and masks has lost its purpose, and quit flailing about, something beautiful in our psyche will have a chance to surface. Our true nature, which is very, very shy will only appear when all the dust has settled. All the doing and becoming on the surface disrupts the serenity and peace, so much so that our true nature cannot surface.
It is like a little flower, on a busy city sidewalk. How can we notice the importance and fragility of the flower with all those buzz in the street? and yet, that little flower’s existence is so significant that if we fail to bring peace to the sidewalk, we will never have seen it.
Ironically, the mind does not like to see such details, as they are too minute. The ego tends to be prematurely judgmental and often comes to a shallow conclusion on that is. The conclusion is not wrong, it is like the flower, lacking the attention to allow it to bloom fully in depth. The ego, when focused, can see the cracks of the sidewalk, but will fail to see the flower. This is because the ego wants to see, and instead of allowing the flower to be seen.
The other irony, is that the harder we try, the more elusive it becomes. very often we exclaim ‘I almost got it!’ by that expression, the effort is already too hard, and that which is shy has eluded again.
So why is it so hard? since it is our true nature? I can only guess that modern living demands us to focus and promotes logic as a method of choice. Wishy washy stuffs are mumbo jumbo, What we cannot deal with, or do not understand, we simply chuck one side. Life is too fast on the fast lane to be bothered with matters of the heart.
But these are powerful matters, the shy true form is who we as humans are, not who we are as lawyers, parents, drivers. As humans we need that true form to connect with the world. Just as much as the world needs to connect with our true form.